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05 Jun, Monday
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Montreal Families

Free access to 11 national parks this summer

If you’re yearning to head outdoors and explore the mountains, lakes, and forests that cover Quebec, a new program is making the prospect of such expeditions much easier.

The Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) and Sépaq have launched the Borrow a National Park program, where 50 passes to 11 of the province’s national parks are available for library users to borrow — for free. Each pass is valid for two adults and provides daily access to national parks near Montreal or Quebec City. Children 17 and under who are accompanied by an adult are admitted free of charge to these parks but must still check in at the reception.

Parks to Visit

For those looking to plan a day trip to a park within an hour or two of Montreal, there are 35 passes that can be borrowed from the Grande Bibliothèque (475 De Maisonneuve Blvd. East, Montreal). The passes allow you to visit the following seven parks:

  • Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville;
  • Parc national du Mont-Saint-Bruno;
  • Parc national d’Oka;
  • Parc national de la Yamaska;
  • Parc national du Mont-Orford;
  • Mont-Tremblant National Park;
  • Parc national de Plaisance.

If you’re further afield or on holiday near Quebec City, 15 passes are available at the Quebec National Archives (Pavillon Louis-Jacques-Casault, Université Laval Campus, 1055, avenue du Séminaire, Quebec). These passes give access to these four parks:

  • Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier;
  • Parc national des Grands-Jardins;
  • Parc national des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie;
  • Parc national de Frontenac.

Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville
Credit © Mathieu Dupuis

How does it work?
  • You must be a BAnQ member to borrow a pass. If you’re not already, you can subscribe for free by visiting banq.qc.ca/abonnement
  • Reserve a pass online by entering “Empruntez un parc national” in the BAnQ catalogue.
  • When a pass is available, you will receive a communication from BAnQ inviting you to pick up your pass at the Grande Bibliothèque (for the seven parks located around Montreal) or at the National Archives in Quebec City (for the four parks located around Quebec City), depending on what you have selected.
  • The pass is loaned for a period of three weeks (with no possibility of renewal) and you are allowed to borrow only one pass at a time.
  • During the loan period, you may visit as many of the parks associated with your pass as you wish.
  • Parking and trail access fees may apply depending on the park and the time of year. Please consult the Sépaq website for more details.
  • When you present your pass at the reception of the park you are visiting, you will obtain two daily access authorizations, valid for two adults for one day (not applicable for overnight stays). Please note that children aged 17 and under who are accompanied by an adult are admitted free of charge to Sépaq’s parks, but must still check in at the reception.

For full details on the Borrow a Park project visit banq.qc.ca/empruntezparc and scroll to the Empruntez un parc national section

To best prepare for your trip and learn more about the parks participating in the program, you can also visit: sepaq.com/empruntezparc

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